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From YES to NO

Thoughts of the Majority - Your Voice, Your Story. 

This is a contribution from supporter Ellen Hamilton: From Yes to No.

I wasn't that interested when the referendum was first announced. In fact, being quite disillusioned with politics at that stage I didn't pay much attention.

My upbringing is that of a miner’s daughter who grew up during the great strikes. Being from a vehemently anti-tory background I only took notice of the referendum when David Cameron came out and asked us “to stay”. The extent of my distrust was to instantly come out in support of the Yes side. My thought process was if the Tories want to keep us then there must be a reason. No research, no look at the economic effect, no thought other than the fact the Tories wanted us to stay, that was enough for me. Stupid, naive and all based on preconceptions.

During the referendum I wasn't politically active on twitter and was oblivious to all the hate and unrest. It wasn't until the election afterwards that I happened to post a couple of political tweets and suddenly I gained followers. I got caught up in the bubble, i even bought in to the SNP's "new kind of politics” mantra. I even joined the SNP (my first official membership of a political party).

Many tweets and many followers later my approach was somewhat different to the others. Probably having not been active during the referendum, I didn't see No voters as the enemy but people who simply had a different political opinion from me. I ended up becoming friendly with a few No voters and a group of cybernats didn't like it.

The story broke of the Claire Robertson saga and having been privy to the blog early on, and having friends who'd given this individual money I shared it far and wide with the Yes side. This encouraged the group of bullies to which Robertson was part of to ramp up their focus of hate and harassment against me. The intimidation went to the extreme of my daughters’ school being contacted. The more and more they drove me from the Yes movement the more I began to question the SNP.

I was beginning to dislike a few of their policies and noticed how the elected officials were acting more and more like the nasty cybernats.

The “new kind of politics” I'd hoped for were a distant dream. Seeing MSPs and MPs converse with the gang of bullies who were stalking me was the last straw. I emailed them and pleaded for help. Here was i, a member of the SNP being stalked by other members, yet they didn't so much as reply to me or the concerns i raised.

I left the Yes movement once again disillusioned with politics. Due to the strong friendships I'd built up with many No voters I gained more and more No voting followers. I'd come to distrust the SNP by this stage, so I was more willing to look at the economic figures and data being presented by the No side.

I was curious, so I asked questions and got them answered with patience and respect. I learned about the deficit, fiscal transfers etc. I listened, I learned, I became firm no.

- Ellen Hamilton


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